Independent pharmacist clinics weaken comprehensive care

January 3, 2023

Dr. Fredrykka Rinaldi, AMA President

Dear Members,
I have heard from many of you with concerns about the increasing number of independent pharmacist clinics in the province. This is an important issue. I wrote a letter to the editor on this topic that appeared in the Edmonton Journal on December 31. You can read it here.

I wish you all the best for the new year ahead.

You are always welcome to share your thoughts with me. You can email me via You can also comment on this letter on the AMA website.


fred Rinaldi, MD, CCFP, FCFP, LLB, MBA, MPA(HSA), BCom
President, Alberta Medical Association

"Fate whispers to the warrior, 'You can not withstand the storm.' The warrior whispers back, 'I am the storm.'"


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  • #1

    Faye Sirianni


    5:38 PM on January 03, 2023

    Not only are pharmacist lead clinics disjointed from comprehensive primary care, but I believe they provide inferior service. Like the young patient I saw this past weekend who was prescribed cephalexin (an antibiotic) for a sore throat despite having a negative strep throat swab. Or the other patient I saw the week before, who was also prescribed an antibiotic for an isolated fever in a child. No follow- up instructions were given. No note to me to inform me of their findings or treatment plan. I can't wait to see how many pharmacists will prescribe antibiotics for UTIs with isolated WBCs in the urine (even MDs are bad for this). I just see more unnecessary antibiotics being used.

  • #2

    Anthony J Gomes


    6:47 PM on January 03, 2023

    The rationale that always prevented physicians from dispensing meds form their office was that it ws 'a conflict of interest'. Now that pharmacists are fully into this 'conflict' themselves, why can we not dispense our own medications and make a profit just like our pharmacists do. Fair is Fair....

  • #3

    Dr Gerard Haines MD CCFP


    10:23 PM on January 03, 2023

    Very good letter. Thank you!

  • #4

    Terry DeFreitas


    4:01 PM on January 04, 2023

    I would like to see the AMA lobby the Provincial government to put a stop to this "pharmacists encroaching" on primary care family physician work immediately.
    1.The pharmacy academic program is not adequate to allow this type of practice especially MSK conditions
    2. A pharmacist cannot adequately follow up on their own complications, leaving physicians to deal with side effects, mis diagnosis etc.
    3. It a clear ethical conflict of interest as the pharmacist intends to diagnosis and prescribe medication which they will profit from. The worst-case scenario is pharmacist's prescribing the most expensive medication rather than the first line medication in order to maximize profits. who will police this???

  • #5

    Dr Brian McAlpine


    4:43 PM on January 04, 2023

    In response to Faye Sirianni [comment #1]

    I’m many of us over the years have ‘over- diagnosed’ and ‘over-treated’.. along with ‘over- investigated’… largely treating the many ‘worried-well’. It just comes with general practice.. particularly with walk-in rapid fire primary care.
    I guess ‘urgent care’ comes with urgent diagnoses and urgent treatment! Must be an urgent world we live in!
    Turf protection ? How long have you been in practice ?

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